EDC Events

The EDC organise several community events each year:

Table of Upcoming Events

You can subscribe to our email notification service in order to receive information about all of our forthcoming events.

Our Annual Early Dance Festival

We host a community-focused dance history festival each year; enthusiasts and professionals from across our community perform for each other’s pleasure. A list of our previous festivals can be found here.

The 41st Early Dance Circle Festival

25 – 27 October 2024

Hereford Town Hall

18:00 Reception opens
18:30 Welcome
19:30 – 21:00 Talk by David Sutcliffe ‘Cecil Sharp, his life and his work in the recovery of early folk dances’. Drinks & a light supper are included.

9:00 Festival Reception opens for rehearsals
13:00 – 17:00 Festival Performances
18:00 – 19:15 Dinner
20:00 – 22:30 Dancing with caller Georgia Delve and Sharon Lindo & The Abbey House Band


11:00 – 12:30 Organised guided visit to Hellens Manor, Much Markle, Ledbury, HR8 2LY

More details and booking form


Our Annual Lecture

We host a popular dance history lecture each year. An archive of information on our previous lectures can be found here. What follows are details of our latest Lecture.

DON’T MISS THE EDC’S 40th BIRTHDAY PARTY on SATURDAY 2 MARCH 2024, 2 pm – 10 pm at Swedenborg House, 20-21 Bloomsbury Way, London WC1A 2TH

2024 marks 40 years since the birth of The Early Dance Circle. A full day is planned to celebrate, including a dance workshop, the Annual Lecture itself, a light supper and a vintage-themed evening afterwards. BOOK SOON on Eventbrite at http://tinyurl.com/bde4829s

Come in Costume if you like: We’re hoping some of our guests might want to dress for the 1980’s, the decade the EDC was born and the era of the New Romantics. Of course, any party gear is fine and we’ll still be dancing across the centuries, from the 15th century on, with Playford and all the gang. But maybe we can fit in something a bit more Madonna. We hope that as many of you as possible will come along and have a wonderful time. We are very lucky to have Dr McCulloch as this year’s speaker as a major part of the programme.


1:30 pm

Doors Open

2:00 – 3:30

Workshop on the Dances of Thomas Bray, in honour of Diana Cruickshank (former Chair of the EDC), led by Barbara Segal

3:30 – 4:00

Afternoon Tea/Coffee Break

4:00 – 5:30

Dr Lynsey McCulloch’s lecture on Dance, Stillness and the Early Modern Image  (see below)


A light supper will be provided

7:30 – 9:00

Dancing, with our members calling to recorded music

Dance, Stillness and the Early Modern Image  
Speaker: Dr Lynsey McCulloch (Royal Shakespeare Company)

A Lady Masquer by Inigo Jones

This lecture will consider the icon nature of the dance image. Looking at the English court masque of the early seventeenth century, it will examine stillness within dance – not as a precursor to motion – but as a state in its own right. Dr McCulloch’s talk will point to the ways in which early concert dance employed stillness, but she will also consider the representation of dance as a static image within art and the graphic systems of the early modern period. Finally, the lecture will look closely at the relationship between movement and stillness, which may have repercussions for our understanding of status and agency in this period.
The interplay between dance and the visual arts typically reinforces the iconic nature of both forms. Inigo Jones’s costume designs for the English masque harness both classical iconography and a more contemporary visual politics in a powerful dance image; the choreography of court entertainment — characterised by pose and pattern — provided another.
This iconic nature often supports a socio-cultural status quo, but it can, in some cases, be repurposed in the interest of more progressive politics. 
Dr McCulloch is a Research Fellow in the Department of Learning and National Partnerships at the Royal Shakespeare Company. She has taught at Coventry University and was also Journal and Conferences Coordinator at the Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning, at the University of Warwick. She has had a distinguished career. Her new book, Dance and the Static Image, has just come out. In the recent past, with Brandon Shaw, she co-edited The Oxford Handbook of Shakespeare & Dance, and with Brown and Lublin, she co-edited Reinventing the Renaissance: Shakespeare and his Contemporaries in Adaptation and Performance. In addition, she has many, many shorter pieces to her credit.

Our Biennial Conference

The EDC hosts a major dance history conference every two years. Proceedings are published and an archive of information on our previous conferences can be found here.


10 – 12 May 2024 

The  Conference brings together international specialists on historical dance topics spanning six centuries of dance history in the delightful surroundings of St Katharine’s Retreat House. The theme for the 2024 gathering is Recovering Historical Dance: “We don’t reproduce the past, we create it” (Hilary Mantel).


  • Jennifer Thorp, Pursuing Mr Isaac
  • Anne Daye, Dance in Nuptial Diplomacy: Shrovetide Masques 1560
  • Paul Cooper, Invented Traditions: risks in modern ‘Regency Dancing’
  • Jeremy Barlow, Topical references in the satirical prints ‘Grown Gentlemen Taught to Dance’ (1768) and ‘Grown Ladies &c. Taught to Dance’ (c.1768)
  • Bill Tuck, Cecil Sharp as Dance Historian
  • Barbara Segal, Dancing with Medusa: Ombreggiare & Fantasmata in 15th Century Italian Dance
  • Tiziana Leucci, The Role of Archeology and Art History in the Process of ‘Dance Re-Creation’ in India, Cambodia, Europe and North America
  • Nobuko Yuasa, How the music of Gaspard le Roux inspires dance, both baroque and modern
  • Evelyn Nallen, The Loves of Mars & Venus 1717 and the work of John Weaver
  • Marianna Jasionowska, Do artistic creations have a responsibility towards dance history?
  • Klaus Abromeit, Show me your feet, show me your shoes
  • Pilar Montoya Chica, The Villano dance: sources for its reconstruction


  • Christine Bayle, French ‘Belle Danse’ according to Pierre Rameau
  • Hazel Dennison, FA LA DANZA: Making dances for the 15th Century Italian Courts
  • Barbara Segal, What does it mean to dance ‘naturally’? A workshop on 15th Century Dance Styles
  • Klaus Abromeit, Show me your feet, show me your shoes”; or Man as an Animal Among Animals
  • Nira Pullin, The Two-Step, danced to the Washington Post March
  • Anne Daye, Mr Gherardi’s Whims: exploring the ‘potpourri’ cotillon

To reserve your place, please follow the instructions in the BOOKING FORM 


Special Events:

We host and collaborate on other events from time to time. These can include workshops, study days, and additional lectures as the opportunities arise. Many such projects are undertaken in collaboration with other organisations. Do get in touch with us if you have a joint project in mind. An archive of information on our previous special events can be found here. What follows are details of our next Special Event.

POISED IN PERFORMANCE: The Visual Culture of Dance Through Time and its Connection with Early Dance Practice, 3 April, 2024.

This is an EDC sponsored session, within the April 3 – 5, 2024 Association for Art History Conference, University of Bristol, Faculty of Arts, 9, Woodland Road Bristol BS8 1TB. A panel of contributors will present papers and discuss this important topic. Tickets at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/association-for-art-history-annual-conference-2024-tickets-759699360237?aff=oddtdtcreator.


The remarkably talented Mr Weaver presents…

7:30 pm 21 January 2023

The Marylebone Theatre, London

An evening of the 18th-century dance & music with The Weaver Ensemble

The Weaver Ensemble, led by Evelyn Nallen, offers an evening of music, song, and dance from the London stage of the 1700s, focused on the works of the celebrated English dancer, choreographer, and scholar, John Weaver, 1673-1760. The Weaver Ensemble will present two productions “The Loves of Mars & Venus” and “The Loves of Pygmalion”. They are not reconstructions, but celebrate Weaver’s contribution to the history of dance. They are devisCall for Papersed by Evelyn Nallen and Stephen Wyatt, and scripted by Stephen Wyatt, with a performing team of an actor, two dancers, and four on-stage musicians. Productions use original 18th – century choreographies. This is not the work of John Weaver, but offers a glimpse into the pleasure early dance can offer modern audiences. Artur Zakirov joins the Weaver Ensemble in the new year, taking over leading roles in Pygmalion and The Loves of Mars and Venus

Venue: Marylebone Theatre, 35 Park Road, London, NW1 6XT (6 mins walk from Baker Street Tube Station)

Tickets: £15 (excl booking fee) book at Eventbrite

The 2020 Celebration of the Music & Dance of Ignatius Sancho

Monday December 14

The premiere of the programme was on the EDC Facebook page and YouTube channel, it remains available to watch now. You can see the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IOnjOprUWs0.

The Early Dance Circle has prepared a special programme of dance and music composed by Ignatius Sancho (c. 1729 – 14.12.1780) on 14 December 2020.

Sancho is famous nowadays as a man of letters and the first African to vote in a British election. Now you can enjoy reconstructions of Sancho’s choreographies and music by the Hampshire Regency Dancers, Quadrille Club and Green Ginger, as well as discussions and interviews with some knowledgeable experts on his career:

Meryl Thomson (Green Ginger), who recently recorded the CD “Dances for a Princess”. Paul Cooper, a specialist in Regency dance, who has worked a good deal on Sancho. Sally Petchey, author of a recent book about the life and dances of Ignatius Sancho: Dances for a Princess, humbly dedicated (with permission) to the Princess Royal by Her Royal Highnesses Most Obedient Servant Ignatius Sancho.